Monthly Archives: December 2019

The Twelve Pillars of the Pictish Arthur

Its Boxing Day morning & so I thought I’d work on a wee belated Christmas gift to the world. This is the assimilation of all my research on the Pictish King Arthur & presentation in a singular place, basically to stymie any deflection of what is emerging as a very real truth. Each piece of research I am constructing as a metaphysical pillar on which my theory shall stand. There’s plenty of them, & I believe that any antiarthurians out there must demolish at least half of them to ensure my theory’s demise. This, however, is never gonna happen because, & without further ado, of the following…


1: The Name Garthnach


A historical figure called Garthnach son of Gygurn certainly sounds like Arthur son of Igerne, with the latter being the traditional famous mother of King Arthur. Evidence for the Arthur-Garthnach  philochisp comes in the form of  Artúr mac Aedan, King of Dalriada – ie the Irish Scots of Kintyre. Where Artúr is named as Aedan’s son in Adomnan’s Life of Columba, elsewhere The History of the Men of Scotland records: ‘Aedan had seven sons – two Eochaids, Eocho Bude, and Eochaid Find, Tuthal, Bran, Baithíne, Conaing, and Gartnait.‘ There’s no Arthur in the latter list, but there is a Gartnait, & we may presume they are the one & same person.


2:  The Dates Fit

The following wee chronicle contains an extract from the Pictish King List – names & reign lengths – found in the 14th century Poppleton Manuscript, anchored on & intertwined with historical notices in very old chronicles. In the Poppleton, Gygyrnus appears as Girom, which would have thrown many scholars off the scent, but it is clear from other recensions of the PKL that Girom & Gygurnus are the same. My concluding interpretation of the data is that Arthur/Garthnach became king of the Picts in 529 & gave it up in 536, a year before dying in battle Camlann.

 449: Drust McErb, King of Pictland, died (Annals of Clonmacnoise)

(449) Talore son of Aniel – 4
(453) Necton Morbet son of Erip – 24
(477) Drest Gurthinmoch – 30
(507) Galalan Erilich – 12

516: The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ for three days and three nights on his shoulders and the Britons were the victors. (Annales Cambraie)

(519) Two Drests – son of Girom
son of Uudrost
5 together / 5 Drest son of Girom on own
(529) Garthnach son of Girom – 7
(536) Cailtram son of Girom – 1

537: The battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell. (Annales Cambraie)

(537) Talorg son of Muircholaich – 11
(548) Drest son of Muniat – 1
(549) Galam Cennaleph – 1
(550) Galam Cennaleph and Briduo together – 1
(551) Bridei son of Mailcon – 30

581: The death of Bruide son of Maelchú, king of the Picts. (Annals of Tigernach)

(581)  Gartnart son of Bomelch


3: Pictish Matrinlineal Succession

The last king in the above list, Gartnart, was the same man as Arthur son of Aedan, showing that Bomelch was his mother. The Pictish succession of kings was matrilineally focussed, with the Venerable Bede recording in the early 8th century;

Now the Picts had no wives, and asked them of the Scots; who would not consent to grant them upon any other terms, than that when any difficulty should arise, they should choose a king from the female royal race rather than from the male: which custom, as is well known, has been observed among the Picts to this day.

Such a matrilineal regal-flow begins with Cunedda, who appears in the PKL as Canutulahina. Nennius places Cunedda in Scotland, in Manau Gododdin, whose successor, Ceretic, transchisowrs into the PKL’s Wradech.  Between them & Arthur/Garthnach, the list is as follows;

Wradech uecla
Talorc son of Achivir
Drust son of Erp
Talorc son of Aniel
Necton morbet son of Erip
Drest Gurthinmoch
Galanan erilich
Drest son of Gygurnus
Drest son of Uudrost
Garthnach son of Gygurnus

According to Jesus College genealogy number seven, Cunedda Wledig had two daughters, Tegid and Gwen. The latter then marries a certain Amlawdd Wledig, so the matrinlineal Pictish royal line should flow through their children. Another genealogy in Peniarth MS 177 shows their daughter to be a certain Eigr, otherwise known as Eigyr, Igraine or Ygerne. This woman, of course, is the father of King Arthur, & the only conclusion we can make now is that Cunedda was King Arthur’s great grandfather.

Cunedda Wledig / Canutalahina
Gwen = Amlawdd Wledig
Eigr / Gygurnus
Arthur / Garthnach

The PKL gives even more confirmation. The St Andrews version of the Gurthinmoch is Gormot. This name philochisps into a certain, ‘Gormant,’ who the medieval Welsh tale Culhwch and Olwen describes as ‘Gormant son of Rica (brother to Arthur on his mother’s side, his father the chief elder of Cornwall),’ where again we see another Igerne-linked figure connected to the Pictish throne.


4: The Dux Pictorum

If Arthur was a Pictish king, then surely somebody would have  mentioned it somewhere. Luckily someone did, even before Big Geoff. His name was Lambert of Saint-Omer, who in his early 12th century Liber Floridus  states not only that Arthur was a Dux Pictorum, but that he also has a palace in Pictavia. It was this clue that me logically look for Arthur in the Pictish King List in the first place, using the old open a phone book method which shines with effervescent simplicity!

Arthur, Dux Pictorum, ruling realms of the interior of Britain, resolute in his strength, a very fierce warrior, seeing that England was being assaulted from all sides, and that property was being stolen away, and many people taken hostage and redeemed, and expelled from their inherited lands, attacks the Saxons in a ferocious onslaught along with the kings of Britain, and rushing upon them, fought valiantly, coming forward as leader in twelve battles

There is a palace, in Britain in the Picts’ land, of Arthur the soldier, built with wondrous art and variety, in which may be seen sculpted all his acts both of construction and in battle.


5: Rhynie


The Royal Pictish centre being excavated in recent years at Rhynie, Aberdeenshire, is given as Penrhionyd in one the Welsh Triads.

Three Tribal Thrones of the Island of Prydain: Arthur the Chief Lord at Menevia, and David the chief bishop, and Maelgwyn Gwyned the chief elder. Arthur the chief lord at Kelliwic in Cornwall, and Bishop Betwini the chief bishop, and Caradawg Vreichvras the chief elder. Arthur the chief lord in Penrhionyd in the north, and Cyndeyrn Garthwys the chief bishop, and Gurthmwl Guledic the chief elder

In the Welsh language, ‘Pen’ means ‘summit or peak,’ which renders Penrhionyd as meaning ‘Peak of Rhionyd.’ Above Rhynie towers the far-seen Tap o’ Noth, Scotland’s second highest hillfort, complete with impressive triple-ringed defense-works. A definitive Arthurian connection to Rhynie comes through Tintagelware, which had fanned out throughout Britain to a series of high-status sites such as South Cadbury in Somerset & also Longbury Bank in the Dyfed parish of Penally, situated within another of Arthur’s ‘Tribal Thrones.’ Just as Cadbury was home to a grand timber feasting hall; & just as at the ‘high-status’ Longbury Bank in Dyfed Ewan Campbell & Alan Lane suggest ‘there is tenuous evidence for at least one large timber building;’ so have archeaologists uncovered the post-holes & plank slots of a timber feasting hall at Rhynie.


6: Uther Pendragon

That a Pictish name, Drust or Dustan, was found on a 6th century memorial stone is Cornwall has always puzzled scholars. Yet, by placing a Pictish Arthur in the same locality clears things up a touch. We do so by the following famous passage…

Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, was there, with his wife Igerne, that in beauty did surpass all the other dames of the whole of Britain. And when the King espied her amidst the others, he did suddenly wax so fain of her love that, paying no heed unto none of the others, he turned all his attention only upon her… At last, committing the siege into charge of his familiars, he did entrust himself unto the arts and medicaments of Merlin, and was transformed into the semblance of Gorlois… They then went their way toward Tintagel, and at dusk hour arrived at the castle. The porter, weening that the Duke had arrived, swiftly unmade the doors, and the three were admitted. For what other than Gorlois could it be, seeing that in all things it seemed as if Gorlois himself were there? So the King lay that night with Igerne.

This story, as told by Big Geoff, is the nearest thing we have to Arthur’s birth certificate. Big Geoff’s history is essentially a collection of facts, or almost facts with a chisper or two, about which are composed tales of aventure & exciting battles to please a twelfth century audience. In this case he knew that Arthur was born in Tintagel of Igerne & Uther, but Arthur’s father was also known as Gorlois. To reconcile the two truths he created a magical phantasy which no doubt went down well in the early medieval feasting halls, that Merlin turn’d Uther into Duke Gorlois. The evidence comes in a poem by Taleisin called the Death Song of Uther Pendragon, in which Uther declares himself to be called Gorlasser, a philochisp of Gorlois. The poem is set in North Britain and begins;

Am I not with hosts making a din?
I would not cease, between two hosts, without gore.
Am I not he that is called Gorlassar?
Have I not been accustomed to blood about the wrathful,
A sword-stroke daring against the sons of Cawrnur?
I shared my shelter,
a ninth share in Arthur’s valour

To this mix we must add the figure of Hydrossig/Uudrost, who appears in the PKL right before Garthnach as the parent of one of the two Drests, with the other parent being Gygurn. Uther to Uudro is an easy chisper to spot and we may conclude definitively that Uudrost and Gygurnus are the Pictish philochisps of Uther and Igerne.


7: Scottish Battles

There are plenty of traces of Arthur in the topography of Scotland, & we can also link several sites to the ‘Battle-List’ of the Historia Brittonum, with the clearest one being, ‘The seventh battle was in the forest of Celidon, which the Britons call Cat Coit Celidon.’ This ‘cat,’ or wood, was situated all across the Scottish borders, between Hadrian’s Wall & the Firth of Forth. Arthur’s eighth battle, ‘near the fortress of Guinnion,’  is given a precise site by the Vatican rescension of the Historia, Stow-on Wedale in the Scottish Borders.

For Arthur proceeded to Jerusalem, and there made a cross to the size of the Saviour’s cross, and there it was consecrated, and for three successive days he fasted, watched, and prayed, before the Lord’s cross, that the Lord would give him the victory, by this sign, over the heathen; which also took place, and he took with him the image of St. Mary, the fragments of which are still preserved in great veneration at Wedale, in English Wodale, in Latin Vallis-doloris. Wodale is a village in the province of Lodonesia, but now of the jurisdiction of the bishop of St. Andrew’s, of Scotland, six miles on the west of that heretofore noble and eminent monastery of Meilros.

Arthur’s eleventh & twelfth battles were fought in the Lothians. ‘The eleventh battle was fought on the mountain which is called Agnet,refers to Edinburgh. The locality of Mount Agned is given by Big Geoff, who chips in with, ‘Ebrauc also built the town of Alclud & the settlement of Mount Agned which is now called the castle of the Virgins & the Hill of Sorrows (Montem Dolosorum), facing Albany.‘ That Edinburgh was known as the Castle of Maidens back in Geoff’s day is proven in a papal bull of 1237, which names Holyrood as the ‘Monastery of the Holy Rood of the Castle of the Maidens.’ This battle is also mentioned by the Pa Gur poem which describes

On the heights of Eidyn
He fought with cynocephali
By the hundreds they fell
To Bedwyr’s four-pronged spear

The mention of the ‘heights of Eidyn’ in Pa Gur suggest a battle was fought all across Edinburgh’s seven hills. Arthur’s fighting in the Edinburgh area is remembered in quite a distinctive way. On approaching the city, the happy traveller will first notice from afar the wild & gigantic ruin of an ancient volcano. This compact & heathy wilderness is known as Holyrood Park, whose chief height is a soaring 800-foot high, lion-like edifice called Arthur’s Seat. As we have already seen, an Arthur’s Seat in an area could well be attributed to a siege conducted by Arthur himself. In the half-French, half-German, Latin-loving dialect known as Middle-English the word ‘sege’ possessed two very different meanings, the latter of which opens the case wide open; A chair or throne / A  siege. Thus Arthur’s Seat could well be a memorial of King Arthur beseiging Edinburgh rock!

The final battle, Badon, is sited in the county of East Lothian, to the East of Edinburgh. Its modern day name is Lammer Law, after which the Lammermuir Hills are named. It lies only a few miles from Traprain Law, which has been firmly connected to King Loth, one of Arthur’s kindred in the older traditions. On the lower slopes of Lammer Law there are three hillforts; The Witches Knowe, Kidlaw & The Castles. Flowing around the latter goes the Dambadam Burn, which transchispers into Dun Badon, & also the ‘the siege of Mount Badamor’ variant of the battle’s name as given by the medieval Scottish chronicler, John of Fordun. This system of defences guarding Lammer Law does come alive in the mind when reading the phrase, ‘Arthur penetrated to the hill of Badon.’

From Badon we come to Bothan, the ancient name of the parish of Yester, which the Lammer Law forms a part. In the Transactions of the Antiquarian & Field Naturalists’ Society (1963/v.IX), James Bulloch writes of Yester church’s chispering dedication to Saint Bathan;

In the course of the centuries this church acquired a spurious dedication because of the similarity of its name to St. Bathans on the southern slope of the Lammermuirs. Even in the late Middle Ages the name Bothans became transformed into St Bothans but there is clear evidence that the original dedication was to Saint Cuthbert. It is told in the Lanercost Chronicle that in 1282 the woodwork of the choir of the church of Bothans in Lothian was being carved at the expense of the rector, ‘in honour of Saint Cuthbert, whose church it is.’

From Bothon/Bodon we come to Boderia (also Bodotria), which is the name given by Ptolemy for the Forth estuary. With Lammer Law being the largest ‘mountain’ in East Lothian, & that it overlooks the Forth, then it should well have been called Mount Boderia in the 2nd century AD, transchispering to Badon by the Arthurian era. Also relevant is the name ‘Mur nGuidan’ given to the Forth by the ‘Irish Tractate on the Mothers of Saints.’ So just as the Gododdin derided from an earlier Bodotria, so the name Guidan would have evolved out of Buidan.


8: Sir Kay

In 536, Arthur was replaced on the Pictish throne by his brother, Cailtram son of Girom.,  who would rule only for a single year, succeeded by Talorg son of Muircholaich . The name Cailtram immediately resonates with ‘Keidyaw,’ who succeeded Arthwys in one of the lineages in the Descent of the Men of the North, which reads;

Gwendoleu & Nud & Cof, sons of Keidyaw, son of Arthwys

With Talorg’s entry into the Pictish pantheon, we gain confirmation to Arthwys of the Descent of the Men of the North as being King Arthur. To do so, we must compare the names of three of the Descent’s consecutive kings to three consecutive kings given by the Pictish lists;

ARTH-wys – GARTH-nach

CEI-dyaw – CAI-ltram


It would seem that Cailtram/Keidyaw was the man behind the later Sir Kay of medieval Sir Kay of Arthurian romance.  Nah then, is it only a fabulous coincidence that Big Geoff describes Arthur leaving Britain in the year before Camlann, ie 536 AD? is it only a coincidence that Hector Boece  describes a certain noble leader called Caimus as dying at Camlann?


9: The Battle of Camlann

A positive connection to the Dunnichen area being the site of the fatal Battle of Camlann is  given in the Second Statistical Account of Scotland’s account, which records a ‘confused tradition prevails of a great battle having been fought on the East Mains of Dunnichen, between Lothus, King of the Picts, or his son Modred, and Arthur King of the Britons, in which that hero of romance was slain.’ This correlates with the Annales Cambraie’s ‘537: The Strife of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell.



There is the definite Cam like’ ‘Carmyllie,’ which Dunnichen parish neighbours. The name has a clear resonance with the ‘Carmellie’ battle given in the Old Welsh tale, The Dream of Rhonabwy, in which a certain Iddawg places the battle near the Pictavian ‘Prydyn.’

I was one of the missionaries in the Camellian battle between Arthur and Medrawd his nephew… I was named in Iddawg Cordd Britain. And because of this the ranks of the troops were distributed at Machman. But, however, three nights before the end of the Camell battle I drove them out and I came to Lech Las in Prydyn to eat.

In late antiquity, the Welsh word Llan and its variants (Breton: lan; Cornish: lann; Pictish: lhan) was applied to the sanctified land occupied by communities of Christian converts. The typical llan was defended by a circular or oval embankment with a protective stockade. An Iron age llan can be found in the parish of Dunnichen, Angus, on a hillfort called Dumbarrow, confirmed by the Statistical Account of Forfarshire’s, ‘this Fort seems to have been built of dry stone in a circular form.’ Dumbarrow has clear Arthurian connections, with the Old Statistical Account of Scotland (1791) describing ‘a rock on its north side is still called Arthur’s Seat,’ while Alexander Warden in the third volume of Angus or Forfarshire, tells us, ‘The Hill of Dumbarrow (anciently Dunberach), in the parish, disputes with the Hill of Barry, near Alyth, the honour of having been the prison of Arthur’s frail Queen, Guanora.’

dun 3

Archaeology has proven that a substantial conflict had been fought in the locality. A Pictish stone was dug up on East Mains, of which instance Headrick observes in 1833’s Statistical Account that, ‘a good many years ago, there was turned up with the plough a large flat stone, on which is cut a rude outline of an armed warrior’s head and shoulders; and not many years ago, the plough also uncovered some graves in another part of the same farm. These graves consisted of flat stones on all sides. They were filled with human bones, and urns of red clay with rude ornaments upon them ; the urns being filled with whitish ashes. By exposure to the air, the bones and urns mouldered to dust.’ To this information, Andrew Jervise adds (PSAS II, 1854–7), ‘on the lands of Lownie also, (the original property of the Auchterlonies) & in the King’s muir adjoining, a variety of ancient graves have been now and then discovered.’


At Dunnichen was found one of the most remarkable symbol-stones in the Pictish pantheon. It had been dug up in 1811 in a field named ‘Chasel’ (Castle) park at East Mains, & moved to the church yard at Aberlemno. Its now in Dundee, actually, its a replica that stands at Aberlemno – but its still pretty cool. One side of this wonderfully carved stone shows a battle in full swing, presumably between the long-haired Picts & what appears to be helmet-wearing Saxons. Camlann was fought on an international scale, a great civil war in which Mordred obtained military assistance from the Saxons, with the Triads telling us;

The three disgraceful traitors who enabled the Saxons to take the crown of the Isle of Britain from the Cambrians… The second was Medrod, who with his men united with the Saxons, that he might secure the kingdom to himself, against Arthur; and in consequence of that treachery many of the Lloegrians became as Saxons.

The parish saint of Dunnichen is Constantine, & alongside the church dedicated to him, there was also a ‘St Causnan’s Well,’ whose pure fine spring was renamed as the Camperdown Well to commemorate the battle of Camperdown. According to Big Geoff, Constantine succeeded to the high kingship of Britain after the Battle of Camlann, & on its very field, Arthur; ‘gave up the crown of Britain unto his kinsman Constantine.’


10: Avalon

The Welsh Triads tell us, ‘there took place the Battle of Camlan between Arthur and Medrawd, and was himself wounded to death. And from that wound he died, and was buried in a hall on the Island of Afallach.‘ The name Afallach translates as ‘apples’, & with Camlann being fought at Dunnichen, common sense tells us we are looking for an island with orchards somewhere in the vicinity. For as long as anyone can remember a rich & fertile tract of land in Perthshire called the Carse of Gowrie has flourished with that Fruit of Eve, the apple. The Carse still retains the pleasant moniker of ‘the Garden of Scotland,’ whose once sprawling historic orchards have dwindled to only five wee woods in the modern age; Bogmiln, Inchyra Farm, Muirhouses, Newbigging & Templehall.

Fifteen centuries ago, the alluvial flood plain on which the Carse is situated was a patchwork of many islands, including Inchyra, whose phonetic ‘inch’ stems from the Gaelic name for ‘small island.’ Inchyra House is a place of great significance to our investigation. A Pictish grave, disturbed by ploughing in 1945, was discovered 100 meters south of the house. The remains were covered by a large decorated flat slab lying flat over a cairn of forty-nine water-rolled stones. This seems to be Arthur’s, for the Triads say he was buried in, ‘a hall on the Island of Afallach.’ The skeletal remains, which included the upper part of a skull, an arm bone and shoulder socket, were later respectfully re-buried without a closer examination.

Arthur's Tomb, Inchyra
Arthur’s Tomb, Inchyra

On analysing a 1959 paper on the Inchyra Stone, by Robert Stevenson, the Ogham inscriptions leapt out at my mind like striking panthers. Transliterated by FT Wainwright, of their academic accuracy, Stevenson wrote; ‘Professor K.H.Jackson, who examined the stone along with us, is in general agreements.’ The first inscription reads, ‘INEHHETESTIE.’ We can here see the word Anoeth, as in the babel-chain, ‘Anoeth-Inohhet-Inehhet.’ The true meaning of the name Anoeth is not yet understood to satisfaction, but it is given by the poem’ The Stanzas of the Graves’ as the actual burial site of Arthur.

Another inscription on one of the stone’s edges gives us the winning ticket;


In the Welsh tradition, Igerne is given the name Eigr, & thus in the Ogham inscription above we can quite positively see the names of Arthur’s legendary parents;


Uther — Eigr

That the philochisps of Arthur’s burial site at Anoeth & the names of both of his parents appear on a single stone help us to paint Inchyra as the original Avalon. This means simply that King Arthur was – & still is – buried in the grounds.


11: Gleissiar of the North

 We have previously connected Uther Pendragon with a certain Gorlasser, another reference to whom is found in the Welsh Triads

 Three Brave Men of the Island of Britain: Gruddnei, and Henben, and Edenawg. They would not return from battle except on their biers. And those were three sons of Gleissiar of the North, by Haearnwedd the Wily their mother.

Here Igerne or Ig-Haearn, appears as ‘Haearnwedd the Wily.’ It comes as no surprise to see how the Triads’, ‘Gruddnei’  philochisps into Gartnait, a common alternate name for Garthnach as given in the lists. Conjecturally, this suggests that Gleissiar’s other sons, Henben & Edenawg, are the two Pictish Drests who ruled before Garthnach/Arthur.


12: Camelot

dun 7

It makes sens that the fortress of Camelot was situated near the immortal battlefield of Camlann. The ‘elot’ afifx is found only a few miles to the south of Dunbarrow, where the River Elot – Elliot these days – rises in a moss called Diltymoss, and, after a course of about eight miles, falls into the North Sea at Arbirlot. Hard by its headwaters stands Dunhead, a fortification covered by dense deciduous woodland, situated on a steepsided promontory at a confluence of the Elliot Water, between two ravines, one of which contains the Black Den & the other the Den of Guynd. In 1754, Melville made a rough sketch-plan of the site, describing it as ‘the entrenchment on Down Head Hill near Arbilot.’

dun 6
Camelot is the ‘earthwork’ on the map

The First Statistical Account refers to the recent demolition of a “druidical temple” in the parish, & the finding of a “Pictish crown” at Black Den, a forested ravine linked to the Guynd Den.

A few years ago the remains of a religious house in the parish, whose ruins had been revered for ages, were taken down. And though we cannot say at what time, or by what person, it was built, yet from the accounts given of it, we have reason to believe that it had been a druidical temple. It is reported, with much confidence, that a crown of one of the kings of the Picts, was found in the Black-den of this Parish, by a quarryman, about the beginning of the present century



I’ve left a lot of cool stuff out with this write up, but I wanted to be as clear & concise as possible. As I’ve studied the Pictish Arthur over the years, its been amazing to see & erect each solid proof on which to support the theory. To me, on Boxing Day 2019, its a no brainer, a series of coincidences so uncanny that they just have to be the truth. I mean, there’s a guy in the Pictish King Lists whose name sounds like Arthur & whose mother’s name sounds like Arthur’s mother. Not only that, he gives up his throne a year before Camlann – 536 – just like Arthur, & the guy who succeeds him – Cailtram – rules for a single year suggesting he was the Caimus who died at Camlann. Another incredible coincidence is that Arthur ruled in the north at a place called Pen Rhionyd, & there is a dark age Pictish fortress at Rhynie… it just goes on & on…

King Arthur & the Pictish Matrilineal Succession


In recent months I found myself being astonished by the presence of Cunedda in the Pictish King List. He’s not the first famous Dark Age figure I found there, for King Arthur himself appears as Garthnach son of Gygurnus. To allay scepticism I thought I’d do a bit more research, & if I am correct then all of a sudden we have the solid evidence for the Pictish matrilineal succession as stated by Bede, who tells us;

Now the Picts had no wives, and asked them of the Scots; who would not consent to grant them upon any other terms, than that when any difficulty should arise, they should choose a king from the female royal race rather than from the male: which custom, as is well known, has been observed among the Picts to this day.

Here’s the list between Cunedda, who appears as Canutulahina, & Arthur, who appears as Garthnach.

Wradech uecla
Talorc son of Achivir
Drust son of Erp
Talorc son of Aniel
Necton morbet son of Erip
Drest Gurthinmoch
Galanan erilich
Drest son of Gygurnus
Drest son of Uudrost
Garthnach son of Gygurnus

Cunedda’s rough dates can be ascertained by a passage in Nennius, who stated, ‘Cunedag… had come previously from the northern part… one hundred and forty-six years before Maelgwn reigned’. According to the Annales Cambraie, Maelgwyn Gwynned died in 547, which means Cunedda must have left Scotland at some point before 401. He & his sons went to & settled in Wales, bringing them into contact with the royal houses there.

According to Jesus College genealogy 7, Cunedda Wledig had two daughters, Tegid and Gwen. The latter then marries a certain Amlawdd Wledig, so the matrinlineal Pictish royal line should flow through their children. Another genealogy in Peniarth MS 177 shows their daughter to be a certain Eigr, otherwise known as Eigyr, Igraine or Ygerne. This woman, of course, is the father of King Arthur & appears in the Pictish king list as Gygurnus mother of Garthnach.

Cunedda Wledig / Canutalahina
Gwen = Amlawdd Wledig
Eigr / Gygurnus
Arthur / Garthnach

The only conclusion we can make now is that Cunedda was King Arthur’s great grandfather. Inbetween them in the lineage is Amlawdd Wledig, who appears in Saxo Grammaticus as Amleth. Now this guy marries a Scottish queen Saxo gives the name of Hermuthruda. If she was called Gwen, or a variant, then boom! everything fits together. Even so, we’re half way there at least via the Scottish, ie, Pictish connection, so lets just equate for chispers having occured in the transmission of information between the Welsh genealogies & the Scandinavian sagas, & continue. I’ll be soon putting up some posts in which aspects of Arthur’s Scandinavian ancestry & activities will be unearthed, but before then I’d like to offer one last nugget unearthed from the secrets of the Pictish King List.

A genealogy known as Bonedd yr Arwr states that Gwen was the mother of a certain Cynwal Garnhwch. This man then appears in Cuhlwych & Olwen as Kynwal Canhwch, the father of Gwen Alarch. Both these guys seem to appear in the PKL, where CYNWAL GARNARCH is Gartnaich-diuberr & GWEN ALARCH may be Talorc son of Achivir or Talorc son of Aniel. In the latter case, Gwen Alarch becomes Gwenddoleu & thus Talorc, a pattern repeated a century later when the Garthnach-Cailtram-Talorg succession mirrors the Descent of the Men of the North, where we see an Arthwys-Ceidyaw & Gwenddoleu succesion.

To finish, let us look at the King List, compare it to the lineage of Cunedda & just realise how feffin cool the whole thing is!

Canutulahina ——————————————- Cunedda
Wradech uecla (Ceretic son of Cunedda) ————- Gwen
Gartnaich-diuberr ————————- Cynwal Garnarch
Talorc son of Achivir ————————————————-
Drust son of Erp ——————————————————
Talorc son of Aniel ——————————–  Gwen Alarch
Necton morbet son of Erip —-————————————
Drest Gurthinmoch ————————————————–
Galanan erilich ——————————————————-
Drest son of Gygurnus ———————————— Igerne
Drest son of Uudrost  ———————————————– 
Garthnach son of Gygurnus——————————– Arthur

Captain Kidd’s Treasure


Following on the Treasure Hunting theme from the last post, I thought I’d reveal my work on the fabled buried hoard of the famous old 17th century privateer, Captain Kidd. He basically captured a ship he shouldn’t have done off the SW coast of India, then sold most the goods at Fort Cochin. The gold & booty was then shared among the crew, some got a single share, some a half, & Kidd a whopping 40 shares. Lots of gold bars were suddenly in his possession. Kidd then sailed to Madgascar & roll on a few more months he’s caught in New York & sent to trial. The trial notes tells us;

Out of the goods that were taken, some were sold in the Country there, the produce of them was so much money, it is proved, that the money was divided, & pursuant of the articles set up, you were to have forty shares & the rest of the men whole, or half shares, as they deserved… One witness speaks positively of the distribution of the Goods that remained unsold, that they were divided according to the same porportions as the articles mentioned,  every one of the prisoners had his share. There belonged 40 shares to Capt Kid, & shares & half shares to the rest.


The gold & his share of the booty were never found. The following 1701 broadside song “Captain Kid’s Farewell to the Seas, or, the Famous Pirate’s Lament (to the tune of Coming Down)” lists, “Two hundred bars of gold, and rix dollars manifold, we seized uncontrolled.”

Upon the ocean seas while we sailed, [while we sailed],
Upon the ocean seas while we sailed,
Upon the ocean seas
A warlike Portuguese
In sport did us displease, while we sailed.

At famous Malabar when we sailed, [when we sailed],
At famous Malabar when we sailed,
At famous Malabar
We went ashore, each tar,
And robbed the natives there, when we sailed.

Then after this we chased, while we sailed, [while we sailed],
Then after this we chased, while we sailed,
Then after this we chased
A rich Armenian, graced
With wealth, which we embraced, while we sailed.

Many Moorish ships we took while we sailed, [while we sailed],
Many Moorish ships we took while we sailed,
Many Moorish ships we took;
We did still for plunder look;
All conscience we forsook while we sailed.

I, Captain Culliford, while I sailed, [while I sailed],
I Captain Culliford, while I sailed,
I, Captain Culliford,
Did many merchants board,
Which did much wealth afford, while we sailed.

Two hundred bars of gold, while we sail’d, [while we sail’d],
Two hundred bars of gold, while we sail’d,
Two hundred bars of gold
And rix dollars manifold
We seized uncontrolled, while we sailed.

St. John, a ship of fame, when we sailed, [when we sailed],
St. John, a ship of fame, when we sailed,
St. John, a ship of fame
We plundered when she came,
With more than I could name, when we sailed.

The question is, did Kidd bury the treasure somewhere between Cochin & New York? In the early 20th century, four treasure maps were found in various false-bottom’d bureaus & workboxes by Kidd-memorobilia hunters Guy and Hubert Palmer which point to the treasure’s location on an un-named island. Looking at the evidence, there is a logical train of thought which points to a Minicoy island, part of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep. For a start, its the first port of call more or less on the way to Madagascar, 250 miles out of Cochin.


Kidd certainly knew the area. In 1697 Kidd and his crew brought their ship, the Adventure Galley, to the Laccadive Islands, to the north of Minicoy. The undisciplined crew chopped up the local boats for firewood, and raped the local women. When the men retaliated by killing the ship’s cooper, the pirates attacked the village and beat up the people who lived there.


The above map is revealing. When it says ‘China Sea’ we must understand that in 16-17th century maps of the Indian Ocean, it appears as the “Ocean Oriental”. If we read the longitude as 73.30 – the first number is obscurely written – we gain a place only 40 miles to the north of Minicoy, as shown below.



Minicoy & – minus its sandbar – certainly looks like the island on the map. As for the written information reveal’d on the map, Minicoy has a lagoon, a reef fringe, its a turtle breeding area, & its quite famous for shipwrecks when, ‘prior to 1865 most of the wrecks occurred on the northern islands and reefs of Minicoy.’ I mean, its quite a contender is wee Minicoy.The only problem is the mention of hills. There are slightly elevated areas on minicoy, but nothing like a hill as we know them. Still, with a chisper or two here & there, it is very possible that the so-called hills are exaggerations. If I am correct – & I usually am – then the treasure will be somewhere about the red cross on the bottom map.




Forrest Fenn’s Treasure: 2019 Update



If I was standing where the treasure chest is, I’d see trees, I’d see mountains, I’d see animals. I’d smell wonderful smells of pine needles, or pinyon nuts, sagebrush—and I know the treasure chest is wet.


cv 4

A few years ago, a certain octogenarian, Forrest Fenn, hid a treasure chest somewhere in the Rocky Mountains of America. Since then, many a puzzle-solver has attempted to crack the poem which contains clues to the treasure’s location. It reads;

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.

Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.

From there it’s no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There’ll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.

If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I’ve done it tired, and now I’m weak.

So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.

The poem is contained in an autobiographical sketch called the Thrill of the Chase, of which Fenn says, ‘ The chapters in my book have very subtle hints but are not deliberately placed to aid the seeker. Good luck in the search.’


A couple of days ago, the UK press ran a story about a guy in the US suing Forrest Fenn for misleading him with clues that point to Arizona. Absolute craziness, especially when the clues clearly point to Wyoming. In a case of x marks the spot, there are two crosses on the treasure map – one should be a decoy & one help to hone in on the treasure. The peak marked with a cross in Wyoming is Garret Peak, its the most central cross, so on a hunch we’ll begin our search there.

Fenn announced the treasure in 2010, & a few months earlier, in the September of 2009, he attending the Black Bow Tie event in Cody, Wyoming, in his capacity as a board member of the Buffalo Bill Society. He was definitely in the right area at the right time.

cv 3

Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down

This is a reference to fishing on the Green River, which flows through a canyon & becomes too warm for the fish in the summer. In Fenn’s book his love of fishing, especially fly-fishing, is everywhere.

Put in below the home of Brown

‘Put in’ is a term for launching a small boat – this is a reference to sailing on Green River Lake, which sits underneath Osborn Mountain.  Henry Fairfield Osborn was the man who assisted Barnum Brown’s search for dinosaurs in Wyoming – the first Tyrannosaurus was found by them – & the bones were displayed in the American Natural History Museum Paleolithic section founded by Osborn – thus Osborn is the home of Barnum Brown’s finds. In Fenn’s book, his love of artifact-hunting & deep history permeates everywhere.


At the south east corner of the lake, Clear Creek begins. There is a trail to follow which leads to Clear Creek Falls, as described in Fenn’s third stanza;

From there it’s no place for the meek 

… The meek inherit the earth, thus we need to follow water…

The end is ever drawing nigh

… A line evocative of a waterfall’s edge & the eternal movement of the water as it approaches the drop…

There’ll be no paddle up your creek

… You cant paddle a waterfall & the movement is, of course, upwards…

Just heavy loads and water high.

Water high is pretty obvious, thus this stanza is basically saying follow Clear Creek beyond its Waterfall.


If you’ve been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.

This is a fun stanza. In 1988 – the same year Fenn was diagnosed with cancer (not so fun) – the forest around Clear Creek beyond the waterfall was charred by a blaze caused by lightning (Hiking Wyoming’s Wind River Range).

Tarry scant with marvel is an allusion to Hemingway sending a copy of a short story (tarry scant) to Mcleish who wrote a poem to Andrew Marvell in the style of His Coy Mistress. In a letter to Mcleish, Hemingway calls Mcleish ‘Andy Marvell’ (Selected Letters 1917-1961, p.326) & in the Thrill of the Chase there is a glaring error made by Fenn concerning Hemingway, which I believe was one of the subtle clues made to draw one’s attention to Hemingway.

The short story was called ‘Wine of Wyoming’ in which we read; 

‘Labour day we all went to Clear Creek.. Madame said. 
The wood struck by lightning is at the bottom centre of the photo
The wood struck by lightning is at the bottom centre of the photo
The wood is described on a web page which reads, ‘about a half mile from the Slide Creek junction, our trail cuts across the northwest edge of the meadow through an open grassy area filled with wildflowers. You can find blue harebells, cinquefoil, yarrow, subalpine daisy and a variety of other colourful flowers. Beyond here, the trail enters the charred burns of an old lightning burn from 1988. These old snags provide wildlife habitat for many wildlife species including a variety of woodpeckers and cavity-nesting birds.’
The treasure is somewhere here...
The treasure is somewhere here…

When Fenn declares,’ ‘If I was standing where the treasure chest is, I’d see trees, I’d see mountains and I know the treasure chest is wet,’ the treasure should be somewhere in the wood, in or by Clear Creek. I think it will be hidden under a log because of these two Fennean passages;

I hope parents will take their children camping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains. I hope they will fish, look for fossils, turn rotten logs over to see what’s under them, and look for my treasure

One of my earliest recollections as a boy was to turn over a rotting log in the forest and watch as a hundred little critters scurried around trying to decide what to do. It’s nature in its rawest moment. I find solace in the solitude of the trees.

It is significant that the creek is within 200 feet of the trail, which connects with Fenn saying that a few participants in the hunt unwittingly ventured within 200 feet (61 meters) of the chest.

Some have thought the treasure cant be in Wyoming as Pinion Pines don’t grow that far north – but Fenn himself revealed the info is not relevant, stating, ‘I just watched that New Mexico Tourism video again and must say that I didn’t say what I was thinking. You cannot smell a pinon nut, but those who pick them know that in doing so you get pine pitch all over your hands, and pine pitch smells about the same no matter what kind of pine tree you are talking about. Looking back I think I wanted to say I could smell pine needles, not pinon nuts. Sorry I kicked a hornet’s nest with that comment. There is no clue there. Incidentally, when I get pine pitch on my hands I rub butter on the spots and that solves the problem. Of course then I have trouble getting the butter off.’ 

The other hints Fenn has given us can check off one by one;

There’s no need digging in the old outhouses, the treasures’ not associated with any structure. CHECK

It is not in Nevada. CHECK

The treasure is not in a grave yard. CHECK

The treasure is higher than 5,000 feet above sea level. CHECK

If you had the coordinates, you would be able to find the treasure. CHECK 

The treasure is not hidden in Idaho or Utah. CHECK

The treasure is not in a mine. CHECK

It is at least 8.25 miles north of Santa Fe. CHECK

The treasure is hidden below 10,200 feet. CHECK 

It is more than 300 miles west of Toledo. CHECK

I never said it was buried, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t. CHECK

It is not possible to find chest without leaving computer & google earth – CHECK

There isn’t a human trail in very close proximity to where I hid the treasure.”  CHECK

Not associated with a structure……CHECK

I would like to know if the blaze can be found during the day without a flashlight. “I would say yes. – CHECK

I made two trips from my car to the hiding place and it was done in one afternoon.”CHECK

The Burial Mound of Olaf Guthfrithsson


 On Hacking out the Gododdin Heritage Trail

O for a walk along a printed line!
Remove the vagueries of random paths,
For when we from the city disincline,
Soul-peace in reach away from public baths!

There’s so much pleasure in a trodden route
That stays unhidden in the memory
Of generations, perrennial fruit
Ripens afresh, ever-exemplary.

With each footstep a sort of hypnosis
Descends like manna on the pacing host
That enters into cute symbiosis
With nature, rills & forest, hills & coast,

And history! The ghosts go with us too,
Enacting deeds, phantasma in the dew.


I quite like that sonnet – my most recent composition. It concerns my 2019 mission to create a heritage trail around the centre of East Lothian, which I am currently serialising in my Walking East Lothian blog. Not so long ago I found myself in an area called Papple, whose steading is currently being renovated as a historical site. As I was passing thro’ Papple, I couldn’t help but notice what could well be a Viking ship burial in a field to the west. Its one thing to say that looks like a Viking ship burial, but before we start digging or hiring georadar technology, it is prudent to examine the why.


1: They’ve done it before.

The Vikings sited a boat burial at Ardnamurchan, West Highlands, thought to be more than 1,000 years old. Artefacts buried alongside the Viking in his boat suggest he was a high-ranking warrior. Others have been excavated at sites on Orkney.


2: Papple was a Viking centre

A study of the immediate area around Papple proves it was definitely settled by Vikings. The oldest form of Stenton was Steinton, after the Norse word for stone, ‘stein.’ Just outside Stenton, we find Meiklerig Wood, from the Norse, Mikill = ‘great, tall, large size’, & hryggr, meaning ‘ridge’. In Timothy Pont’s 16th. c. map can be seen a place in Pressmennan Wood named Fattlipps XE “Fattlipps”, with Fatt being Norse for ‘upturned or bent backwards.’ lipps, may come from Old Scots lippie, ‘flax or corn seed measure’. A bit above Pressmennan is Rammer Wood, from the Norse, Ram(m)r, ‘strong, mighty’. Others include the two Hailes – Nether & Over – evolved from Neðar = ‘lower’ & ofarr = over, & Hedderwick near Dunbar, which derives from Heðarvík = ‘heather or moorland bay’.

3: Papple was a religious centre

The name Papple is similar to the ‘Papil’ of West Burra, in the Shetlands. This site was a pre-norse Christian centre, with the name Papil coming from ‘papar’ – a Nordic word for priests. Papple farmhouse & steading are connected to a very old site called the ‘Convent.’ All that now remains is a small part of the walls, covered with ivy and now forming the SE end of a cow house in Papple farmyard. Though both the Cistercian nuns of Haddington and the nuns of St Bothan’s of the same order held lands in ‘Popil’, there is no evidence to support the existence of a convent here.

4: Papple connected to Viking royalty

Papple, or rather Whittinghame of which it neighbours, was the home of king Guthred before he was crowned king of Viking Northumbria in 883. His path to power is unusual, as given by Symeon of Durham in two sources.  In his History of the Kings, Symeon simply states, “Guthred, from a slave, was made king”, but in his History of the Church of Durham he gives a longer account.

During this time the Viking army, and such of the inhabitants as survived, being without a king, were insecure; whereupon the blessed Cuthbert himself appeared in a vision to abbot Eadred… & addressed him in the following words:—”Go to the army of the Danes,” he said, “and announce to them that you are come as my messenger; and ask where you can find a lad named Guthred, the son of Hardacnut, whom they sold to a certain widow at Whittinghame. Having found him, and paid the widow the price of his liberty, let him be brought forward before the whole aforesaid army; and my will and pleasure is, that he be elected and appointed king at Oswiesdune, and let the bracelet be placed upon his right arm.

The mention of a widow is interesting, for regal widows in those days were prone to join or set up religious houses, which provides the perfect background for a convent at Papple.


IMG_20191129_134130The mound at Papple certainly feels like a Viking Boat – its the right shape, the right length, it looks out to the sea & Norway. Its got a cool little causeway too, its great. That Papple has Vikingly religious & regal connections suggest that if the mound is a burial ship, then its gonna be a king inside it, but who? Well, it just so happens that a significant Viking ruler’s last known movements were just a few miles away from Papple.

During my chispological studies I’ve come across Olaf Guthfrithsson of the Uí Ímar dynasty before – the famous ‘Analf’ of the Brunanburh campaign. Tho’ defeated, once Athelstan died, Analf was back in Jorvik as the Viking king of Northumbria. Then crucially, soon after after attacking Auldhame & bearby Tyninghame in East Lothian,  in 941, he died. The written evidence tells us;

941: Olaf, having plundered the church of St Balthere [i.e. St Baldred] and burnt Tyninghame, soon perished Symeon of Durham

941: Amlaíb son of Gothfrith, king of the fair foreigners and the dark foreigners, died Chronicon Scotorum


In 2005, a 10th century Viking skeleton was discovered at Auldhame cemetary on an archaeological dig. He was buried with a number of items indicating his high rank, & some folk have concluded this was Analf. ‘Whilst there is no way to prove the identity of the young man buried at Auldhame,’ says Alex Woolf, ‘the date of the burial and the equipment make it very likely that this death was connected with Olaf’s attack.’ For me, I am sure Analf would have had a cooler burial site, something as impressive as his ego.




So, Analf dies, no-one knows where he’s buried. So where to look. Well, a ships-shaped mound at a Viking religio-regal centre is not a bad start. What confirms it for me is two slight depressions in the mound, under which lie broken stones (see below). It is as if  the roof of the ship burial has caved in somewhat…